An 8-year-old is being recognized in a small Michigan city as the “person of the week” for a pay-it-forward fundraising campaign he launched after seeing a peer get denied a hot lunch.

Earlier this year, Clayden Taipalus said he witnessed another student have to trade in his hot lunch for an alternative because he didn’t have enough money in his account.

“That made me sad so I went home and I asked my mom, ‘What can I do to help?’”
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“That made me sad so I went home and I asked my mom, ‘What can I do to help?’” Taipalus told WXYZ-TV, the station that honored his efforts last week.

Cayden Taipalus has launched an online fundraising campaign to help pay for the lunches of students that can't afford them. (Image source: Fundrazr.com)

Cayden Taipalus has launched an online fundraising campaign to help pay for the lunches of students that can’t afford them. (Image source: Fundrazr.com)

After some consultation with his mother, the 8-year-old boy began collecting donations and taking bottles back to help pay off the school lunch debt for less fortunate students at his elementary school. He even started to raise enough money to place funds in some of their accounts.

After two weeks of effort, Taipalus has paid for 295 lunches. But he’s not done.

The ambitious student has an online fundraising account titled, “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry.”

“The donation response has been wonderful…”
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“The donation response has been wonderful so Cayden is continuing on to other elementary schools to help out more kids,” the website’s description says. “He would like to do all Livingston County elementary schools if possible.”

“We can’t do this alone, any donation is accepted and very much appreciated,” it concludes.

At the time of publication, Taipalus had raised 78 percent of his $10,000 goal.

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